"In an initial burst of enthusiasm reflecting Preus's concern for missions, the Fort Wayne faculty had petitioned the 1977 convention of the Missouri Synod to have each of its subdivisions or districts "make a thorough study of the Church Growth materials." What is more, the districts were to be urged to "organize, equip, and place into action all of the Church Growth principles as needed in the evangelization of our nation and the world under the norms of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions." By the time of the 1986 synodical convention, however, the same faculty, while appreciating the "valuable lessons of common sense" to be learned from Church Growth, asked that "the Synod warn against the Arminian and charismatic nature of the church-growth movement."
Kurt E. Marquart, "Robert D. Preus," Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed., Walter A. Elwell, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995, pp. 353-65. Reprinted in CN, 6-26-95, p. 21.
GJ - The WELS Church Growth publication began in 1977, the same year the Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne faculty urged CG principles upon the LCMS. The Shrinkers were working across synod lines from the beginning - and still are.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Concordia Ft. Wayne Church Growth and WELS TELL: S...":
That's about the time when each WELS sermons because not just law/gospel, but law/gospel/evangelism, or more like law/evangelism. I noticed the switch right away. Needless to say, our pastor was fast tracked to go from the parish to a synodical school. Now I know why.
GJ - When Gurgle was still Synodical President, before he went on the lam, his editorials in each issue of FIC were about the need for each member to recruit more members. They struck me as entirely Reformed, all Law, and really tedious. Perhaps he had some good editorials. I missed them if he did.